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Last reply by 01-27-2023 Unsolved
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XPS 8940, randomly freezing

XPS 8940

So here's a fun one. I too (as many on this forum have), have been having random system freezing issues with my Dell XPS 8940 with Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti video card. After a lengthy phone call with Dell support, the support engineer in their infinite wisdom has decided that the system doesn't have a hardware problem and if I'd like any further help resolving this situation, I can fork out another $100 for "software" support. System is less than 1 year old and still under warranty. I spent close to $2500 for what was supposed to be Dells "top of the line" Desktop. So, I'm left with 2 choices - either live with a problematic dell desktop or shell out another $100 for their software support and HOPE that their software support personal can help me fix this issue. Needless to say, I will be seriously considering whether or not to purchase ANYTHING else from Dell, ever.

Replies (85)
295

I was searching the web yet again for Lock Ups, found this You Tube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27zapKfts-0&ab_channel=Pennicles 

Already had the Link State set right, but not the Settings for the card?

Mine was set to 'Optimal Power', so I changed it:

ispalten_0-1660685712952.png

Will it work? Probably NOT, but if this IS a power issue, something to look at?

Time will tell I guess?


===================================

I am a Dell TechExpert. I am not a Dell employee. I enjoy using my free time to help the community. If you find my posts useful, you can thank me by clicking on Kudos!

Thanks,

Irv S.

10 Diamond
291

Just a wild idea...
Open Device Manager and expand list under System Devices. Find the entry for Intel Management Engine and on its Power Management tab, uncheck the box "Allow PC to turn off...", and reboot PC.

 

Ron

  Forum Member since 2004
  I am not a Dell employee

289

Ahh, good IDEA!!

Uh, can't really find that specifically in Device Manager, but I can get 'close', the OS interfaces it seems. The actual 'engine' is installed with and part of the BIOS I think?

Anyway I did find these 'Intel' devices:

ispalten_0-1660691913619.png

Last one is the only one even with that Power option to turn it off enabled.

Now, what is it actually is the question? Even Dell has a few pages on it, but most are for tablets or NUC's (Next Unit of Computing, the small PC's).

Two things I can think of:

  • Possibly installed on ALL versions of Windows, even if not needed?
  • I'd not think this is the cause, since the Lock-ups occur when the PC is in use, although there have been some when the PC was idle.

It also an MS driver, not Intel's.

Google isn't much help, and in some cases I've seen where it just isn't known what is does exactly?

You have any better luck on your XPS?

If that one that can be left on was doing that, you'd think other things would have problems? Even if it did, I'd think 'whatever' was trying to call it or talk to it would get an error and post it?


===================================

I am a Dell TechExpert. I am not a Dell employee. I enjoy using my free time to help the community. If you find my posts useful, you can thank me by clicking on Kudos!

Thanks,

Irv S.

10 Diamond
288

Intel Management Engine Interface #1 is the one I meant. Are you saying that "Allow PC to turn off..."  isn't checked by default on the Power Management tab?

I don't have freezes on my XPS 8930 but that box is checked for IMEI#1 by default here, which is why I mentioned it...

Ron

  Forum Member since 2004
  I am not a Dell employee

279

Yes, it IS not checked by default:

ispalten_0-1660739208156.png

 

So it should be ALWAYS on.

The Host Controller DOES have it checked by default so it can be turned off.

ispalten_1-1660739619790.png

Again, if anything, these being allowed to turn off to save power should only be an idle state action, not when the PC is in sleep, no?

I don't think any of these are related to the lock-ups. Odd that you have the ME Interface #1 check on the XPS8930? Again, can't see having it unchecked will do anything but use more power in Sleep?

I do see many web pages about "Intel Management Engine Interface #1 property allow the computer to turn off this device" when I Google it.

For instance:

https://techcult.com/fix-windows-10-will-not-shut-down-completely/ See #4 and 5 only.

https://techunwrapped.com/get-rid-of-black-screen-error-before-turning-off-pc/ 

This explains somewhat that the M.E. is, where it is, and what it does, https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000008927/software/chipset-software.html  and from it, I gather:

  • During Install of the BIOS, ME is installed, either in the BIOS RAM itself or a Northbridge Chip.
  • It is always running.
  • It is needed to wake up the rest of the system.
  • It resides in Protected Memory (which is set up by the BIOS.

Given that, turning it (ME Interface) OFF seems counter intuitive?

It also seems all that I've looked at mention W10, not W11? However, I've not seen a single report of owners with Nvidia cards having a lock up on an 8940 or 8950? Why is that?

So, is it possible that setting on all W10 PC's have it off by default? Mine was, and it is on however, but I went from W10 to W11... and thanks to Dell Support, I had to reload the OS when I was on W11 and had to use the the Windows Media Creator to do that. Didn't want to do twice the work recovering W10 and then going to W11. Some XPS8940's probably came with W11 on it as well.

Bottom line, I can't see if/how allowing the Interface to turn off helps here vs. it always being on?

By the way, the problems the links describe is EXACTLY the problem my wife's XPS8500 on W10 had for quite some time. Rarely did Shutdown complete. Had to finish it be manually using the Power Button. Nothing in the Event Viewer, not even an Error 41 for powering it off. Just had to wait for the power light to stop blinking and there was no disk activity and power it off. Then, months later, it 'cured itself'. Bet a Windows Update for the Interface was changed (or a new one installed)? Odd.

As I read the above link, I'm not sure I want to turn it off? Especially since I have Sleep NEVER enabled so it shouldn't matter and I am on A/C power. Might be a different story for a Laptop though or someone that does allow Sleep?

 

 

 


===================================

I am a Dell TechExpert. I am not a Dell employee. I enjoy using my free time to help the community. If you find my posts useful, you can thank me by clicking on Kudos!

Thanks,

Irv S.

433

I completely agree with you about wanting the security updates included in the newer BIOS so I spent many months dealing with random freezes and installing each new BIOS that came out hoping it has a fix for the random freezes.

I just reverted from BIOS 2.8 to 2.3, so far as I can tell BIOS 2.3 was the last stable BIOS. 

I have not tried 2.9.  Has anyone with frequent freezes tried 2.9 yet? 

With so many users in this situation it would be nice for Dell to let us know when a BIOS release is intended to address this in the notes.  The notes mostly mention CVEs but it was a CVE patch that put us in this situation in the first place.

3 Silver
248

On my XPS 8940, this field is checked, and I do not recall setting it.

ishmael_0-1660847390177.png

 

 

10 Diamond
319

@ishmael  - If your XPS 8940 is having freezes, try unchecking that box on the IMEI#1 power management screen in Device Manager and see if that helps.

IDK if that will help, but it's worth a try...

 

Ron

  Forum Member since 2004
  I am not a Dell employee

3 Silver
318

Hi Ron,

Fortunately, so far at least, I am not experiencing the lockup/freezing issues that others seem to be having.

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2 Bronze
309

So I was getting random freezing also.  I would find my computer completely locked up and the fan inside was running loud..  Dell support suggested a reformat and after that they did diagnostics and there was a critical error stating that there was a problem with the CPU fan.  Months ago I had switched out the back case fan with a Noctua fan with no issues.  But maybe after a recent BIOS update, it was causing an issue with fan.  So i put the stock dell fan back in and sure enough the diagnostics came back with no errors and havent had any random freezing for the past 2 weeks.  The cooling is so poor in the 8940 that even the Noctua fan helped a bit and was thinking of getting a Noctua cpu fan as well.  But fear that if i replace both these fans I will run into the random freezing again.  The only thing dell could offier would be to replace the cpu fan if i am concerned about the temperatures.  

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